Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Coming down heavily on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Convener of BJP's national membership drive and former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said that even after ruling the State for 20 years, Patnaik still cannot speak the language of the Odia people. “Even a stone could have learnt to speak Odia in so many years, but Naveen could not,” said Chouhan who was in Odisha today to take part in saffron party's membership drive.

Chouhan further stated that “Patnaik is not running the government in Odisha. I have heard that there is one Pandian babu, who takes all the decisions. If Odisha is a backward state afflicted with malnutrition, poverty and high infant mortality rate, first Congress and then Naveen Patnaik are responsible.”

No comments on Chouhan's allegations could be obtained from the ruling-BJD and the Congress.

Addressing a gathering during BJP's membership drive in Khurda, Chouhan asked the party workers to work hard to bring a change in the State.

He said that during the UPA rule, the Indian Prime Minister never got the respect & prestige on foreign soil that PM Modi commands. “When PM Narendra Modi visits abroad, not only he but 130 crore Indians get respect on the world stage,” Chouhan said.

Chouhan also paid tributes to former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and participated in a plantation programme in Khurda.